Putting Einstein to the Test

NASA is set to launch the immensly sophisticated Gravity Probe B today, which will measure the bending of space-time by a rotating object. While the whole thing seems pretty bland compared to the Mars missions, the project is an important step in testing Einstein’s theories. The NYT ran an excellent piece in last-week’s science section about the $700 million dollar project that has taken 45 years to complete and that has contributed significantly to the advancement of theoretical physics. Maybe if NASA could come up with a better name than Gravity Probe B (which sounds like a bad sci-fi movie) they could generate more interest in it.